A Cornish Christmas, England

First mission on Christmas morning was to call our families back home. Due to the time difference we had to make the call early, or else Christmas would be over in Australia. With that task out the way, Danny got busy in the kitchen whipping up a breakfast spread – eggs, smoked salmon, ham, bacon and toast. That was just the beginning of our overindulgent day.

 

Once much of the extended family had arrived we drove down to Flushing for a walk along the coast. It was a little muddy but the green fields, calm seas and fresh air were exactly what we needed after a heavy breakfast.

Back at the house it was present opening time, which took hours due to the number of people there were (14 all up). We were fortunate enough to receive presents too, which was completely unexpected but gratefully received. Several bottles of champagne were drunk during the process (and not only by us). We even watched the Queen’s speech on TV, a spectacle we have not had the privilege of witnessing before. She spoke a great deal about Australia and New Zealand, in particular our natural disasters, which increased our interest somewhat. 

Dinner was HUGE! Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cabbage, parsnip, Brussels sprouts, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce, bread sauce (a new one for me) – the food was never-ending. And of course it was followed by a massive dessert spread, to make sure we were truly full to the brim. Each mouthful was amazing, resulting in an excessive consumption of calories that is generally expected on Christmas day. After dinner we played an old family-favourite, charades. Danny had never played before and was basically hopeless. The rest of us, although slightly intoxicated, managed to make a game of it. In the end it turned out to be a late night (by our standards), but it was a wonderful day overall. 

Thankfully, Boxing Day was an uneventful one, which was needed after the previous day's indulgence. When we woke up we were both still full and could not face even the thought of breakfast (a rarity for me). Once again the house was full of family, trying to recall yesterday's antics. By lunch time we were ready to eat again, and we all sat down to one of my new favourite foods, the Cornish pasty. I don't think we moved from the couch for the rest of the day, which is I guess is typical of most Boxing Days, but it was weird not watching the cricket on TV.

Danny was in charge of dinner, using leftovers and whatever else he could find in the kitchen. He managed to create an incredible meal plus dessert that wasn't just a rehash of yesterday's feast. I think his family was impressed – even I still get impressed by what he can do. After dinner Danny’s cousin Michele introduced me to the iconic British soapies: Coronation Street and East Enders. They were both terrible, but I can see how people get sucked in to watching episode after episode. Although we hadn’t really done anything all day, we felt exhausted and headed off to bed early.

We have now been away from home for a whole year. It is astonishing how much we have achieved when we look back on it all. 

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